Stay! How PetSmart Keeps Pet Parents Happy and Loyal.


Chitra Iyer

September 25, 2023

This week, we dive into eight loyalty principles that led Newsweek to name PetSmart Treats one of America’s top loyalty programs.

But first, here’s their performance report:

  • It has clocked in 60 million members in five years
  • It is brought to life by 50,000 associates in 1600 stores across North America, a growing online business, and multiple other touchpoints
  • 9 out of 10 transacting customers attach their purchases to the loyalty program
  • The program has been growing @40% for the last four years

Dig into your Monday Moment to learn the eight principles that made it possible.


Lead with loyalty

At PetSmart, that means two things:

  • Frame your objectives to be customer centric not company centric.

Think “We want people to be better pet parents and better people” >> “We want to sell more pet supplies”.

  • Let everyone own loyalty

All executives can tell the Loyalty story and understand what loyalty brings to the business. At the same time, 50,000 people across 1600 stores are trained to show customers the value of the program, motivate them to sign up, and hand-hold them through the offer activation process.


Create a value flywheel 

PetSmart creates a flywheel of new opportunities for members to earn and redeem rewards through their lifecycle, and that’s powered by a diverse base of product and service offerings.

Members earn points across the entire range of products and services – from pets to toys and treats, supplements, and services like pet camps, grooming, training, and hotels. There is a lot of potential for stickiness that can be harnessed each time a customer visits a store.

Petsmart also has 10 proprietary brands that generate over $100 million in sales each year. The loyalty program focuses on leveraging them as powerful tools for loyalty since they can only be bought at Petsmart.


Make it easy 

PetSmart Treats is free to join. Anyone can sign up. You get immediate and concrete benefits from the day you join. You earn points on everything and you can redeem them on everything. 


If a member has 2000 points, all the communication is geared towards making it super simple for them to know what that’s worth for redemption and avoiding any math.


Make the onboarding count

When a customer joins, particularly a new pet parent, use the golden period to:

  • Educate and introduce them to the services and help them understand the full range of what’s possible
  • Help them set up the routines and regimens that will keep them engaged with supplies, grooming, training, and more through the full lifecycle


Offer activation is directly responsible for incrementality

PetSmart works hard to increase offer activation, and it’s growing by 150% year over year. Optimizing offer activation not only helps customers gain more value, but also encourages incremental behaviors and creates lift. 

At the back end, all offers try to drive a second trip or attach something new to the basket. They are well-targeted, relevant, and value-adding for each member.

At the front end, customers need to see, discover, understand, and activate offers before they make their purchasing decisions. In-store associates are key to making this happen. 

Associate-exclusive offers let front-line staff preview and activate offers themselves before they go live. This way, they experience what a member would experience and are ready to handhold members and optimize activation when offers go live. 


Test and learn

Bradley Breuer, VP of loyalty and personalized marketing, is driving the culture of experimentation, a willingness to fail fast, and taking calculated risks to keep pace with a constantly changing world. 

Not everything is a success, but the loyalty team at PetSmart is willing to keep putting new ideas into action, read customer response signals, scale what works, and learn from what doesn’t.  


Build emotional loyalty

Pets are expensive to maintain – so the program must offer real monetary value. But pets are also a highly emotional category, so the program has to go beyond the transactional. 

PetSmart Treats provides members early access to new collections and products, lets people donate their points to selected PetSmart charities, as well as earn points when they donate to those charities. 

Greater personalization of communications designed around customer lifecycles and journeys creates moments of authentic surprise, delight, and emotional connection.



9 out of 10 customers are attached to the loyalty program today, but that has been a five-year-long journey in the making.

It has happened because of repetition and the singularity of the message to all stores – loyalty matters. Petsmart is 100% focused on creating value and amplifying activation. 

Hear the full episodes with Bradley Breuer, Vice President of Loyalty and Personalised Marketing at PetSmart here.

👉 Am I missing anything? Share your own Pet Parent experiences with us below.

👉Want more such insights from the world’s best loyalty programs each Monday? Sign up for Monday Moments here or share with a colleague to earn your Monday karma! 

About the Author

Chitra is an experienced marketer turned freelance B2B content creator. She writes about CX, martech, sales tech, ad tech, retail tech, loyalty tech, and customer data and privacy. Of her two-decade-long career, Chitra spent the first half in senior corporate marketing roles in India. She’s led communications, digital marketing, and marketing ops teams for companies such as Timken Steel, Tata Play Satellite TV, and Procter & Gamble (P&G).

She has served as the editor-in-chief for the pioneering martech site Martech Advisor, which she led through a successful acquisition by Ziff Davis. She also conceptualized and co-hosted three seasons of one of the earliest Martech podcasts, The Talking Stack, with renowned Martech experts David Raab and Anand Thaker.

As a freelancer, Chitra creates original, thought-provoking content for senior B2B audiences, and has authored over 500 articles, white papers, ebooks, guides, and research reports about Martech and CX for clients around the world. She writes monthly columns for CX publication CMSWire and HR tech publication Reworked; and teaches a course on freelance B2B content writing in association with the Himalayan Writing Institute in India.

Chitra holds a Master’s in global media & communications from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an MBA in marketing from the Institute of Management Development & Research, India.

In 2011, Chitra opted out of the city and moved to a farm in rural Punjab, in the north of India, where she and her husband breed thoroughbred race horses, grow organic food, and homeschool their two boys.

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